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NFL games produce a few shockers, lots of squeakers

By Jared Bergstrom, Sports Editor

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There were some real shockers this last week in the NFL, as well as some games that came down to the final seconds of the game. So read on to find out what went on this last week through my eyes.

The shockers

It would have been difficult for many to predict the upsets that took place in the NFL last Sunday. Those games were the New York Giants over the Dallas Cowboys, the Philadelphia Eagles over the Miami Dolphins, and the Arizona Cardinals over the San Francisco 49ers. I didn’t get any of those games right when I made my picks last week because I listened to my gut instead of going with statistics.

First off, the Dallas Cowboys lost again this week, 37-34, and their kicker was iced, but it wasn’t Jason Garrette and the Dallas Cowboys that did it this time. Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin called the timeout right before the ball was snapped. I mean, it was so close that it couldn’t have been any closer. Now the Cowboys and the Giants are in a tie for first place in the NFC East, and if the Giants and the Cowboys both lose out and the Eagles win out, it could very well be a three-team race for the division title.

The second upset of note was the Eagles coming out and beating the Miami Dolphins, 26-10. That win puts the Eagles at 5-8 and putting pressure on the Cowboys and the Giants. The Eagles, of course, start winning when quarterback Michael Vick comes back from his injury.

And the final shocking game was the Cardinals (yes, the Cardinals) beating the San Francisco 49ers, 21-19. To be honest, the game wasn’t even that good. The Cardinals just played better football than  the 49ers did. I bet the 49ers came in underestimating their opponent because they had beaten them the last five times.

The close calls

Then there were the games that were so close that you couldn’t have fit a piece of paper between the two scores. Those games were the Denver Broncos over the Chicago Bears, the Houston Texans topping the Cincinnati Bengals, the New York Giants surprising the Dallas Cowboys, the Detroit Lions squeaking by the Minnesota Vikings, the New Orleans Saints barely beating the Tennessee Titans, and the New England Patriots pulling off the win over the Washington Redskins.

Let’s get right down to it, starting with the record-breaking game between the Broncos and the Bears. Tim Tebow led his team to another win, 13-10 in OT, thanks his ability to make plays and his never-quit attitude. The Broncos scored 10 points in a span of 2 minutes and 5 seconds. The Broncos can also thank Bears running back Marion Barber for basically letting them tie it up. The Bears could have taken more time off of the clock, but Barber decided to try to get a few extra yards and then ran out of bounds. That’s one of two mistakes Barber made that day. We’ll get to the other one in a minute.

But the record that was broken was the two field goals kicked from 57 yards or more. They were from 57 yards out by Bears kicker Robbie Gould and then a 59-yarder from Broncos kicker Matt Prater; Prater also kicked a 51-yard field goal in overtime to win the game.

OK, now for the second mistake by Barber. Barber was running down the field in overtime to probably set up the game-winning field goal, but he did a spin move and fumbled the ball, which ended up setting up the Broncos’ game-winning field goal. The Broncos have now won 6 games in a row to put them a game up on second-place team the Oakland Raiders in the division.

The Houston Texans and the Cincinnati Bengals is my second squeaker. The Bengals were basically up the entire game, and then the fourth quarter hit. Almost all of the Bengals’ losses this year have come in 4th quarter drives, and it happened again in this game. The Bengals were up 19-13 and all they had to do was stop Houston from getting a first down. But that didn’t happen. The Texans picked up a couple of first downs, and then the touchdown was set up on a penalty. The 20-19 victory clinched a playoff spot for the Texans for the first time in team history.

The next game was the New York Giants beating America’s team, the Dallas Cowboys, 37-34. The Giants first called a timeout to ice Dan Bailey and that worked because on the next attempt the field goal was blocked.

The next game was the Detroit Lions surviving the rally by the Minnesota Vikings, 34-28. The Lions built up a quick 21-0 lead before the Vikings scored late in the first quarter. Then the Vikings got two more touchdowns compared to a Lions touchdown and two field goals. But then the Vikings were down on the one-yard line to score the game-winning touchdown. But back-up quarterback Joe Webb fumbled the snap and the Lions recovered, securing the victory and the Lions’ playoff chances.

My next game was the New Orleans Saints surviving the Tennessee Titans’ comeback. The Titans were down on the 5-yard line with 12 seconds left. Then the Saints deflected a pass that was in the end-zone. On the next play, Titans rookie quarterback Jake Locker was running toward the sideline but didn’t throw the ball to anybody; he just fell down and that ended the game. The Saints won 22-17, so the touchdown would have won the game.

Then the next game was the New England Patriots surviving the Washington Redskins comeback, 34-27. It was virtually do or die for the Redskins, so they called hike and then Santana Moss caught the ball. It looked like he tried to flip it to a teammate, but instead he flipped it to the Patriots defender.

My winning picks

I didn’t have a good week last week only going 7-9 and 116-80 on the season. My winning picks are in purple.

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Atlanta Falcons

Dallas Cowboys @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Carolina Panthers @ Houston Texans

Washington Redskins @ New York Giants

Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills

Seattle Seahawks @ Chicago Bears

New Orleans Saints @ Minnesota Vikings

Cincinnati Bengals @ St. Louis Rams

Tennessee Titans @ Indianapolis Colts

Green Bay Packers @ Kansas City Chiefs

Detroit Lions @ Oakland Raiders

New England Patriots @ Denver Broncos

New York Jets @ Philadelphia Eagles

Cleveland Browns @ Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens @ San Diego Chargers

Pittsburgh Steelers @ San Francisco 49ers

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The school newsmagazine of Kettering Fairmont High School.
NFL games produce a few shockers, lots of squeakers